World Cup 2022: Morgan Freeman and Jung Kook star in glitzy opening ceremony (2022)
 Posted on : Nov 21, 2022, 12:53PM   4 total views  Category : FIFA World Cup

A giant World Cup trophy during the ceremony


Camels, fireworks and Morgan Freeman.


The 2022 World Cup kicked off on Sunday with a visually striking opening ceremony at Al-Bayt Stadium ahead of the tournament's first match between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.


American actor Freeman featured in the festivities alongside Qatari YouTuber Ghanim Al-Muftah.


South Korean pop star Jung Kook sang Dreamers, the tournament song, alongside Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi at the stadium in Al Khor.


With just under 90 minutes remaining until the opening match of the tournament, the ceremony kicked off with Oscar-winning actor Freeman narrating a video about football's ability to unite.


The build-up to the first World Cup to be held in a Muslim country in the Middle East has been overshadowed by a number of controversies, including deaths of migrant workers and treatment of LGBT people in Qatar.


Morgan Freeman and Ghanim Al-Muftah

Morgan Freeman and Ghanim Al-Muftah took part in the ceremony


Morgan Freeman and Ghanim Al-Muftah alongside Qatari singer Dana al-Fardan

Qatari singer Dana al-Fardan performed early in the ceremony


During the first dance routine, Freeman was greeted by cheers as he appeared in the stadium alongside Al Muftah, who was born with the rare Caudal Regression Syndrome.


"Everyone is welcome," Freeman told the crowd.


One of the dance routines featured giant walking kits of the 32 teams competing in the tournament and the mascots of previous World Cups alongside La'eeb, the 2022 mascot.


Jung Kook and Fahad Al Kubaisi performed together before Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani delivered the opening speech in Arabic.


"People of different races, nationalities, creeds and orientations will gather here in Qatar and around screens on all continents to share the same exciting moments," the emir told the crowd.


Jung Kook and Fahad Al Kubaisi

Jung Kook and Fahad Al Kubaisi performed Dreamers alongside a striking light show


The light show during the opening ceremony

The light show caught the eye during the opening ceremony


Saudi Arabia's crown prince and the presidents of Egypt, Turkey and Algeria, as well as the United Nations secretary general, were among world leaders in the tent-shaped stadium ahead of the opening match.


The 30-minute ceremony ended with a fireworks display and another dance routine before the Qatar and Ecuador teams took to the pitch to start their warm-ups.


-- Courtesy of BBC Sport